K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick! (bop_radar) wrote,
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!
bop_radar

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Battlestar Galactica 2.19: Lay Down Your Burdens (Part 1)

Great title!

Jerking-around plots continue... However, I was delighted to see Kara lead a team back to Caprica, although I would have liked:
a) to see more of how she persuaded Adama and Roslin to permit her to do so
b) to see more discussion of what they hoped to achieve.
My biggest disappointment (although still a minor gripe really) is that there has been no further mention of the farms--that was such a strong and difficult experience for Kara, I can't believe she wouldn't mention them to anyone, wouldn't bring them up when planning the rescue. I understand that they want to rescue as many humans as they can, but what about the important freedom-fighting work that Anders and his team have been doing? No regrets about abandoning that (and implicitly abandoning all those women)? I just would have liked this to figure slightly, somewhere, rather than have the romantic reunion aspect dominate.

Aside... ok, I loved the reunion aspect too. The 'if you have a Kara Thrace there...' line was really cute, and I felt much as Lee did I suspect: I really did want Kara to go rescue her man, even if I had heartpangs about it. The Kara/Lee scene was interesting because I hadn't necessarily expected it. There was a lot of power in the scene where Lee came into Kara's briefing and talked about 'making the future'. I wondered then if he was thinking about Kara and Anders, but I thought they might leave it there. The Kara/Lee scene made it much more obvious that he had conflicting emotions. (More ouchy! for Lee, who presumably is Dee-less again too.)

I really enjoyed this episode, but the one bit that was boring me was the Chief's plot... to begin with. It's just something about the Chief--he makes me yawn, even when his plots are interesting. I was all 'Chief writhes on floor ... whatever!' and 'recurring dreams yada yada yada' but then thankfully it went somewhere. In fact, the Chief's dreams and the discussion with the Priest were intriguing, although they raised more questions than they answered.

Firstly, the priest seemed unconventional--I really want to know more about the human religion and if there are different sects, etc. This priest seemed really charismatic and practical, an approach that made him more sympathetic to me than, for example, Roslin's spiritual guide who died. He was also perceptive, getting to the heart of the Chief's fears. I really liked seeing the idea that the Chief (and by implication others) may fear being a cylon. It's a plot path they haven't yet explored but it seems such a natural result of knowing about 'sleeper' agents. The Chief demonstrated how self-doubt could settle around this idea and drive you into a spiral of fear and depression. I really enjoyed seeing the priest debunk this idea. At the end of the day it doesn't matter because humans do terrible things too--couldn't agree more! And I loved the line 'the gods lift up those who lift each other'. That's a fascinating religious concept and potentially an interesting reflection on others in the BSG universe who 'lift each other up' (Sharon and Helo? Gaius and Six? Kara and Anders? etc)

I found Sharon's confession to Helo that she senses a 'dark time coming' effectively ominous, despite the cliche. Sharon is a chilling figure, withdrawn and damaged. She's collaborating with the humans more than ever before, yet we know that they have screwed her over with her child, so she works as a figure of threat and menace. Her surface level harmlessness is also very powerful. And I like that Helo's role in their relationship is as confidant and emotional support--a reversal of the stereotype of emotionally strong woman and physically strong man.

Other things I liked:
- I found Roslin's giggles charming (she's such a brilliant actress!) but I yelped when she broke the pencil (don't break it! you might not have that many left!) even though they probably have a ridiculous surfeit of pencils for all I know...
- I loved seeing Gaius turn the tide in the debate. That scene really worked for me. This time I really saw just how talented a manipulator and a politician he was. He used his intelligence and his ability at bluffing and twisting reality to perfect end result. It was so believable that Roslin would lose under those circumstances, despite the fact that Gaius accused her of something he was himself guilty of--exploiting people's fears. That's a subtelty that would be lost on most voters, and indeed Roslin seems genuinely out of touch with what the people want. She is so sure of how 'right' she is that she's not really playing the politics. It's regrettable but well crafted.
- Starbuck's little 'thank you' to Adama was lovely.

I'm sure I'll have a lot more to reflect on when I see Part II and in the long dark wintry break between seasons.
Tags: bsg_meta, bsgseason2
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